HONG KONG, Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight leading jewellery companies are among the finalists of the Industry Innovation/Sustainability Initiative of the Year category of the fifth annual JNA Awards. Conferred annually by JNA (Jewellery News Asia), the awards event recognises and celebrates companies and individuals whose passion for excellence, innovation and outstanding business performance has helped shape the growth and development of Asia's jewellery industry.
This year, the JNA Awards has consolidated two categories that are judged against a similar set of criteria. Industry Innovation of the Year and Sustainability Initiative of the Year -- both standalone categories in previous years -- are now known collectively as Industry Innovation/Sustainability Initiative of the Year. By refining the criteria and streamlining the categories, the JNA Awards has become "more reflective of current industry aspirations" and "maintained the relevancy and rigour of the awards," according to the awards' esteemed judging panel.
The judging panel comprises of five esteemed industry experts, namely Albert Cheng, Advisor to the World Gold Council (WGC), Far East; James Courage, former Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International and former Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council; Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange; Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in India and the Middle East; and Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc.
This category is open to companies that best demonstrate the impact that their innovative, corporate social responsibility or sustainable initiatives have on their respective operations and the industry at large.
The eight Honourees, shortlisted companies, in the Industry Innovation/Sustainability Initiative of the Year category are:
- Beijing Cai Shi Kou Department Store Co Ltd
- Gübelin Gem Lab Ltd
- Shenzhen Batar Investment Holding Group Co Ltd
- Shenzhen Bofook Jewellery Co Ltd
- Shenzhen Foreway Jewellery Group Co Ltd
- Shenzhen Ganlu Jewellery Co Ltd
- Shenzhen Xingguangda Jewelry Industrial Co Ltd
- Shenzhen Y&M Jewelry Co Ltd
Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA and Director of Business Development -- Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, remarked, "We are thrilled to receive such enthusiasm for this category with a record-setting number of Honourees for any one category in the history of the JNA Awards."
"Industry innovation and business sustainability are two long-term driving forces in spearheading the growth of our industry. Over the past decade, the significant growth in the jewellery business in Asia was not only a reflection of the increasing buying power from the middle-class customers, it was also the extra effort put forth by retailers, manufacturers, designers and entrepreneurs in these two areas to enable us to stay relevant and agile to the changes of the external environment," said Cheng of WGC.
GIA's Bhatt shared, "While innovation is and will remain a priority for many businesses around the world, there is an increased awareness on the importance of corporate social responsibility. Businesses are expected to act responsibly toward both the environment and society. I am pleased that the JNA Awards encourages members of our industry to contribute to the greater good."
"The fact that this category has the most number of Honourees reflects the view of today's entrepreneurs that innovation and sustainability are important elements in achieving business success. Meanwhile, with seven out of eight shortlisted companies are from Mainland China, this shows that Chinese companies no longer rely on copying the inventions of others, but they are finally breaking their own grounds," noted Lin of SDE.
A representative of the Shenzhen Luohu People's Government commented, "The JNA Awards is one of Asia's most influential awards programmes in the international jewellery and gemstone industry; its authoritative status, impartiality and recognition are second to none.
The Luohu government has been committed to promoting the development of the jewellery industry and we are extremely inspired and proud to learn that six leading Shenzhen jewellery companies are shortlisted for Industry Innovation/Sustainability Initiative of the Year. In addition, we would like to commend these companies for continuously innovating and achieving sustainable development even in today's challenging market conditions."
Courage added, "The jewellery manufacturers of Shenzhen have long been pioneers in innovation, with a growing need to balance the rising consumer expectations on quality and design with cost and competition, which leads to greater investment into the development and adaptation of technologies to jewellery applications."
The winners of the 2016 JNA Awards will be announced at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, which will be held on Thursday, 14 September, or the second day of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, at the InterContinental Hong Kong.
The much-anticipated gala dinner is a ticketed event by application only. Interested parties can book their seats now by submitting an online application form.
Notes for Editors:
1. About JNA (www.jewellerynewsasia.com)
JNA is the organiser of the JNA Awards and is the flagship publication of UBM Asia's Jewellery Group. First published in 1983, the title is the leader in providing up-to-date international jewellery trade news with an Asian insight. It features original, in-depth reports by experienced journalists covering the latest developments in the diamond, pearl, coloured gemstone, jewellery manufacturing, and equipment and supplies sectors.
2. About the Headline Partners
2.1 Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (www.chowtaifook.com)
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (Stock Code: 1929) is a world-class leading jeweller listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2011, and has become the largest jeweller listed in Hong Kong by market capitalisation.
The iconic brand "Chow Tai Fook" of the Group has been widely recognised for its trustworthiness and authenticity, and renowned for product design, quality and value. The acquisition of Hearts On Fire, an internationally acclaimed U.S. luxury diamond brand, in August 2014 has further underpinned the Group's stature as a diamond expert in the industry.
The Group boasts an extensive retail network comprising over 2,300 Chow Tai Fook and Hearts On Fire stores spanning more than 500 cities in Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States, as well as a strong and fast growing e-tail network through operating its Chow Tai Fook e-Shops and various e-tail accounts on other online shopping platforms.
The Group's sophisticated vertically integrated business model provides it with an effective and tight control over the entire operation chain from raw material procurement, design, production, to marketing and sales through its extensive POS and e-tail channels.
2.2 Gemfields plc (www.gemfields.co.uk)
Gemfields plc is a leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones and is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (ticker: GEM) where it is a constituent of the AIM50 index.
Gemfields is the operator and 75% owner of both the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia and the Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique. In addition Gemfields also holds a 50% interest in the Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia, as well as controlling interests in various other gemstone mining and prospecting licenses in Zambia, Mozambique, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.
Gemfields' outright ownership of the Faberge brand - an iconic and prestigious brand of exceptional heritage - enables Gemfields to optimise positioning, perception and consumer awareness of coloured gemstones, advancing the Company's "mine and market" vision.
Gemfields has developed a proprietary grading system and a pioneering auction and trading platform to provide a consistent supply of quality coloured gemstones to the global downstream markets. This is a key component of the Company's business model which the Directors believe has played an important role in the appropriate distribution and associated resurgence of the global coloured gemstone sector.
2.3 Rio Tinto Diamonds (www.riotinto.com/diamondsandminerals)
Rio Tinto Diamonds is one of the world's major producers of rough diamonds and operates a fully integrated diamond exploration, mining and marketing business.
For over three decades, the company has been an important participant in the international diamond market with two world class underground diamond mines in Australia (Argyle) and Canada (Diavik) and an advanced diamond project in India (Bunder).
Rio Tinto Diamonds' production is sorted and prepared for sale at its sales and marketing office in Antwerp, Belgium, supported by a network of representative offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York. It also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth, Australia for the rare pink diamonds from its Argyle mine. Rio Tinto Diamonds is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, as well as a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and the Diamond Producers Association.
3. About the Honoured Partners
3.1 Diarough Group (www.diarough.com)
Diarough Group was established in Antwerp in 1975 and owns diamond polishing factories in China, India, Thailand and Botswana, with a network of sales offices around the world. Diarough is known among the most professional and respected names in the international diamond industry.
Diarough believes in building and nurturing long-term business relationships based on mutual trust, finding solutions to business and marketing problems, creating marketable opportunities through innovative products and providing excellent client services.
Its jewellery manufacturing unit Uni-Design has produced many award-winning jewellery pieces, which have been proudly worn by celebrities on the red carpet over the years.
The Group employs over 3,500 people and is engaged in a wide range of diamond business activities like rough trading, cutting, polishing, jewellery manufacturing and marketing to retailers, chain stores, global brands and private labels worldwide. Diarough employs advanced technology and modern work speed with traditional ethical business practices upon which the Company was founded.
3.2 Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (www.israelidiamond.co.il)
The Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) is a non-profit, public interest company representing all institutions involved in the Israeli Diamond Industry. Israel is one of the world's leading diamond centres and IDI works to enhance Israel's position as a major trading and manufacturing hub.
IDI works to benefit Israel's diamond industry in a variety of areas including: marketing and PR, technological innovation, encouraging local manufacturing, training, and security consulting. IDI seeks out new markets for Israeli diamonds and develops existing ones. As part of this effort, IDI organises industry participation in major trade fairs around the world, establishing Israeli Diamond Pavilions and sponsoring events at these shows.
IDI operates a representative office in Hong Kong, which fosters trade relations with Asian markets.
3.3 Shanghai Diamond Exchange (www.cnsde.com)
Authorised by the State Council, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) is the only diamond exchange in China and provides diamond dealers a fair and safe transaction venue under close supervision. It also enjoys a favourable taxation policy and is operated in accordance with international best practices of the diamond industry.
Established in 2000, the SDE is a non-profit, self-regulating membership organisation and a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
3.4 The Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange
Founded in February 2016, the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange is one of two provincial jewellery trading platforms authorised by the People's Government of Guangdong Province.
Aggregating resources from key industrial hubs across Guangdong including Guangzhou, Pingzhou of Foshan, Yangmei of Jieyang and Sihui of Zhaoqing, the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange joins hands with world-renowned jewellery brands in setting up an international supply chain integrated service platform that offers a secure and convenient trading experience for domestic and overseas jewellers.
The Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange is set to benefit China's jewellery industry in a variety of areas, such as the promotion of a healthier and more balanced international division of labour, foreign trade development, cross-border resource management and consumer market growth. As part of this effort, it will take full advantage of the base and influence of Guangdong's jewellery industry and the benefits stemming from the Belt and Road Initiative to establish linkages with national and global gemstone and jewellery markets.
3.5 The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (www.gdland.com.hk)
The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND), with its headquarters in Hong Kong, is listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, and is a subsidiary of GDH Limited, which is Guangdong Province's largest conglomerate operating outside Mainland China.
The principal business of GDLAND is property development and investment, including but not limited to the development and operational management of the innovative commercial real estate, urban complex and industrial business complex. As the strategic arm of GDH Limited, GDLAND engages in the business development of commercial real estate, as well as the projects of urban and industrial complex.
GDLAND's flagship project, namely the "Buxin Project", is planned to become the biggest and most advanced jewellery mart in the world, including a large-scale jewellery trading and exhibition centre along with other facilities, with a lot size of over 87,000 square metres and the construction scale (floor area) is expected to be more than 700,000 square metres. The Buxin Project, which is located in the Buxin area of Luohu district in Central Shenzhen, close to the Shuibei Gold and Jewellery Base, is expected to develop the area into one of the most influential gold and jewellery trading and exchange platforms in China and around the world.
4. About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)
Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is the largest trade show organiser in Asia and the largest commercial organiser in China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 24 major cities with 32 offices and 1,300 staff.
With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 19 market sectors with 230 events, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock online products for over 2,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks.
UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world's fastest growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 12 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Guzhen and Shenzhen, where we organise 90 events. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with 70 events in this region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai organise over 20 events every year across the country.
UBM Asia was awarded 'Asia's Most Reliable Trade Show Organizer Award' in Hong Kong's Most Valuable Companies Awards (HKMVCA) 2016.